California will release around 8,000 prison inmates early in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in state correctional facilities, with more than half expected to return to society by the end of July, officials said Friday.
The move will allow prisons to use the extra space to impose social distancing rules, isolation and quarantine measures, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement.
“These actions are taken to provide for the health and safety of the incarcerated population and staff,” CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said. “We aim to implement these decompression measures in a way that aligns both public health and public safety.”
The department estimates 8,000 inmates could be released by the end of August, providing they meet several criteria. Prisoners with a year or less left on their sentences are eligible for early release. Those with convictions of violent felonies and sex crimes are not.
Anyone released from custody will be tested for the virus within seven days of their return to society, the CDCR said.
Several states have opted to release some prison inmates early amid a surge in infections in correctional institutions. California has reduced its prison population by 10,000 since mid-March, when the COVID-19 pandemic first triggered government protection measures in the United States. – READ MORE
Listen to the insightful Thomas Paine Podcast Below --